Before I had to leave for the once every two years meeting of the International Liaison Committee between international Jewish groups and the Vatican, I checked on the condition of our dear friend, Bishop Jim Daly who was a guest of the wonderful Benedictine Sisters at St. Joseph Guest Home in Greenlawn. They assured me that he was doing well and they were so happy to have such a holy priest and bishop in their midst. The next call I received in Madrid. Bishop Brennan called to say that he and Bishop Perez were with Bishop Jim at the Guest Home where the Bishop died peacefully while the sisters and the bishops prayed the rosary for him and with him.
I write this as I prepare to go over to the Cathedral to celebrate the Funeral Mass of a truly beloved priest and bishop. Last evening I re-read the beautiful letter he sent to everyone, especially to his brother priests, in 1998, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. I could hear his voice as I read his words. I can see his face smiling as I prepare for this Mass of farewell and God speed. He was a priest who loved his priesthood because he loved to place himself at the service of the People of God. You in turn returned that love.
I believe his total commitment to being a priest of this Diocese of which he was so proud, has enriched us tremendously. We would not be the diocese we are today if it were not for him and especially the great relationship that made Bishop McGann and him a team totally committed to this local Church. Today, as we pray for the repose of his immortal soul, I will also be praying to ask Bishop Jim to pray for us, to bless us and to continue to make us a Church where Jesus Christ is worshipped, proclaimed, witnessed and lived in the heart of each one of us; the hearts of us all. May dear Bishop Jim and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen